1 History

cutting of materials for handmade paper

Salay Handmade Products Industries, Incorporated (Salayhandmade) is a producer and exporter of quality handmade papers and its converted items. The company that I co-founded with my husband, Dr. Reynaldo G. Rafisura, is located in the quaint coastal town of Salay, Misamis Oriental, Philippines, where I was born. Our activities began in 1987 as a civic organization known as the People’s Economic Council (PEC). All we wanted to do was help provide livelihood opportunities for our economically disadvantaged community so we could all live honorably.

Our group was initially composed of only 10 civic-minded locals who had no formal education in either art or production; but we were all willing to innovate and survive using our talents and what resources we had. Most of all, we trusted that through God’s help we would succeed with our battle cry: Yes, the Filipino Can!

We ventured into small export activities in 1990, and since then we have been anchored in Fair Trade principles as spelled out by the World Fair Trade Organization then known as International Federation of Alternative Trade or IFAT, which we subsequently joined in 2003.

By practicing the standards of Fair Trade, especially the protection of our environment which I have upheld so dearly for love of Mother Nature, we have somehow found a niche in our ever-growing green-conscious society.

Salayhandmade cardsToday, almost quite naturally, after continuous research and training in design and paper processing, Salayhandmade is contributing significantly to the development of Salay and the Philippines, and has become a source of inspiration to other entrepreneurs.

Through the art of handmade papermaking, pressed-flower designing, and its related activities, we continue to meet our nationalistic aim of a holistic development for our people.

Finally, Salayhandmade provides support to our social arms, the SHAPII Foundation whose main activity is providing scholarships to bright children from economically challenged families of the community . To me, without this, doing business comes close to being meaningless.

By Loreta C. Rafisura
Salayhandmade Founding President



2 Core Values, Mission & Vision

Yes, the Filipino Can!

To date, this continues to be the battle cry of Salayhandmade, always at hand to keep company morale high when business climate is difficult.

Three key factors however, identify the core values of Salayhandmade, and these are readily visible when one enters the factory premises:


An altar carved naturally from wood at the back of the administrative building is where Salayhandmade employees gather every single day for the three o’clock prayer. We at Salayhandmade believe that indeed, more things are wrought by prayers than anything else this world knows of.


The Filipino flag that flies high and proud from the building façade alongside Salayhandmade’s own flag is testament to the reason behind the company’s existence. We at Salayhandmade exist in service to our community and our nation.


A billboard by the walkway going toward the production area articulates the ten principles of Fair Trade, which the organization upholds on a day-to-day basis. We at Salayhandmade strive to live by these values in order to continue touching hearts, and building lives.

Any visitor to the Salayhandmade factory will always be wonderfully amazed by the sight of large groups of craftsmen and artisans individually and cheerfully in action, working at a traditional craft that result in natural and exquisite products!

Climbing Another Mountain!

Out of these core values, along with a big dose of love and generosity that naturally flows from faith, Salayhandmade crafted its mission. The first of these were born straight from my heart in 1987, who at first thought my goals were too lofty and too noble.

Two decades later most of these original goals have been met, and the company has gone on to climb other mountains. The current vision and missions of Salayhandmade is now the third “mountain,” a sign of its continuous growth.


Salayhandmade envisions itself to be a harmonious and economically secured dynamic team who are innovators of globally competitive handmade products anchored on fair trade principles.

Mission Statement

To be a globally competitive company who:

  • Develops, produces and markets innovative handmade products.
  • Develops its workers holistically to be part of a dynamic team.
  • Explores business possibilities and engages in diversification to enable it to grow and give secured income to its workers.
  • Penetrates the domestic and global markets for sound business growth; and,
  • Practices and advocates Fair Trade principles for a change towards stronger corporate social responsibility.

3 Milestones


  • Salayhandmade penetrates another mainstream market in France through Fair Trade partner, Signalethique.
  • Salayhandmade gains access to then the only reliable internet connection in Salay from PLDT then and subsequently opened the 12-unit Highway Internet Café, the first in the town.


  • Salayhandmade partners with APFTI and converts the Salayhandmade showroom to a Fair Trade Shop, the second to open in the Philippines. The store brings Fair Trade products from other regions of the country to the public with the tag line: Don’t just buy, buy just!
  • The 2009 Vision/Mission is formulated to reflect its main objective of becoming a sustainable business.
  • SHAPII Employees Multipurpose Cooperative receives a P300,000 grant from the Department of Labor and Employment to augment worker’s income through a piggery project.
  • Salayhandmade hosts Erin Yokel and Paul Yee of Erisa production, NY, USA. During their 3-week stay in Salay, they documented fair trade practice as part of a documentary project called Crafting Hope, which will hopefully come out in 2 years’ time.



  • Salayhandmade joins its first trade fair, the Mindanao Trade Expo in Davao, and realizes the potentials of the new “sunrise industry” of the Philippines. The booth is mobbed by both artists and environmentalists.
  • Salayhandmade institutionalizes the three o’clock prayer to the Divine Mercy, as all workers gather together voluntarily to pray for a few minutes every working day before the afternoon break.


  • With an initial capital of P6,000 (raised from a prior raffle draw), and a lot of help and encouragement from the Department of Trade and Industry, Salayhandmade production starts humbly in an abandoned chicken house just a stone’s throw from the home of Dr. Reynaldo and Mrs. Loreta Rafisura, as the Industry Sector of Salay People’s Economic Council.

4 Accolades

2017 Salay Handmade Products Industries Inc. – 2017 DOST Best SETUP Adoptor – Regional Level

Salay Handmade Products Industries Inc. – 2017 DOST Best SETUP Adoptor Finalist- National Level

2016 Salay Handmade Multi-Purpose Cooperative – Most Outstanding Community Enterprise. Villar Sipag awards on the poverty reduction.
2014 Salay Handmade Products Industries, Inc. – Most Outstanding in Social Entreprenuer – The 2014 Mindanao Business Leaders Awards.
2009 Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc.Family Health Excellence Award by USAID Philippines
2008 Loreta C. Rafisura, President – Presentor/One Empowered Artisan Group , Ten Thousand Villages, USA
2007 – Loreta C. Rafisura, President – Presentor/Asian Solidarity Economic Forum, University of the Philippines
Loreta C. Rafisura, President – Artisan Speaker, TRAIDCRAFT Exchange workshop, United Kingdom
Reynaldo G. Rafisura, Chairman of the Board – Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs for Northern Mindanao, “Go Negosyo”, Cagayan De Oro
2005Loreta C. Rafisura, , President – Speaker/ Paper list Social Venture Network, Tokyo, Japan
Salay Handmade Paper Industries, Inc., – 2005 Most Outstanding Business Enterprise Award by Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation Inc.
Salay Handmade Paper Industries, Inc. – For Valuing the full cycle of assistance offered to it by the Market Encounter Goes to Manila ( MEGMA) Foundation, Inc. in its pursuit for innovation and excellence, contributing to job generation, efficient use of resources, and global product distinction, Cagayan De Oro
Salay Handmade Paper Industries, Inc. – Sharing Total Quality Best Practices to DTI- Caraga Employees during their TQ and GAD Benchmarking Tour, Manila, Philippines
2004Salay Handmade Paper Industries, Inc. – 1st Business Excellence Awards for SME`s National Award, Manila, Philippines
2003Loreta C. Rafisura, President – Fr. William F. Masterson S.J. Award in recognition of her pioneering &imaginative work to promote and provide employment through the Salay Paper Industries, Inc. & many other programs and projects to enhance progress & amp; development in her local community.
2002Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Best International Exhibitor Display Award of Philippine Investment Tourism & Trade Expo 2002 in Sydney, Australia
Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Finalist: First Outstanding SME (Small Medium Enterprise Category Manufacturing Sector by DTI Phils.
1997 Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Outstanding Project Award for providing livelihood to both men & women by Women in Nation Building (WIN)
1995 Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Sikap Award Most Innovative Environmental Livelihood Project by RCBC
1990 Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Outstanding Fair Exhibitor by DOST
1988 Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – PEC Project Awards for Development Category by Dept. Of Trade & Industry

Salay Handmade Paper Ind. Inc. – Most Outstanding People’s Economic Council

  • Salayhandmade joins its first trade fair, the Mindanao Trade Expo in Davao, and realizes the potentials of the new “sunrise industry” of the Philippines. The booth is mobbed by both artists and environmentalists.